This former monastery was founded in the late 12th century during the reign of Afonso Henríques, Portugal's first king. Its original Romanesque style gave way to Manueline restorers in 1507. This is where the story of Pedro the Cruel and Inês de Castro reached its climax. Tiles decorate the lower part of the walls inside. Groined in the profuse Manueline manner, the interior houses the Gothic sarcophagi of Afonso Henríques, his feet resting on a lion, and on his son, Sancho I. The pulpit, carved by João de Ruão in the 16th century, is one of the noteworthy achievements of the Portuguese Renaissance. The choir stalls preserve, in carved configurations, the symbolism, mythology, and historic import of Portuguese exploration. With its twisted columns and 13th-century tombs, the two-tiered Gothic-Manueline cloister is impressive. The facade is decorated like an architectural birthday cake, topped with finials and crosses.
- © Frommer's 2013
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